Mother’s Day Favorites

I heard a beautiful quote yesterday: “I haven’t done many great things in my life, but I have greatly loved my children.” (Suzanne Stabile)

I needed to hear that right now. Mother’s Day is a lovely idea, but sometimes I struggle with the idea of being celebrated, because I’m too aware of the ways in which I fall short. I can think of many ways in which I would love to improve my mothering skills, but if there’s one thing I do greatly, it’s love my children.

I wonder if I would enjoy Mother’s Day more if there wasn’t so much of an emphasis on being pampered and feeling special, but rather it could be a celebration of the opportunity to be a mother. A day to celebrate the chance to deeply love these sweet children of mine, a day to thank God for the answers to all my prayers during the years of infertility and miscarriages. I need the reminder that it’s not about getting it right every single time – it’s about all of us being sanctified and beautified as we become more like Jesus.

There are hundreds of ways I’ve messed up as a mom over the years, but I’d like a day to remember that love covers over a multitude of wrongs, and some time to remind myself that if great love = a great mom, then I was made for this. I was given everything I need to do this well. They are my greatest work.

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Weekend Favorites: Mother’s Day

Every year for Mother’s Day, we pick up food from Taco del Mar, and go to Assiniboine Park for a picnic, and a visit to the conservatory.

conservatoryOh, I love it there so much, and I love that we have pictures to compare from every year we’ve gone! This year was very different from other years – a lot more active! We made an attempt to take the usual picture of me with my sweet children, but this did not impress Everett:

Kendra & kidsAnika says, “Don’t put that picture in, it looks terrible!” But Ben always says, “It is what it is.” Everett didn’t hold still for a single moment, except when he was watching the fish, which he absolutely loved.:) He kept trying to say “fish” so cutely!

fishfish pondHe ran all over the place, and had a great time!

Ben & EverettKidsFortunately, the girls already know how this goes – find your favorite flowers, and pose sweetly while Mommy takes a million pictures!!

KayliaAnikaAnd by some miracle, I managed to get this one of Everett – right before he ran back to the fish pond!!

EverettTraditions are the best! What did you do for Mother’s Day?

 

Weekend Favorites: Mother’s Day

I have a love/hate relationship with Mother’s Day. Well, maybe “hate” is a bit strong. It’s more of a pleasure/pain relationship….

I love being a mom, and I love having a day to celebrate life with these sweet kiddies. But there have been some very hard moments on Mother’s Day, as well. When Anika was three years old, we lost a baby, and my due date was Mother’s Day.

When Kaylia finally came along, the joy she brought with her swallowed up most of the pain and sadness, and for a few years, Mother’s Day was happy again. But last year, I had a hard time. I was pregnant, but was still battling fear with my first trimester – I have a lot of baggage when it comes to first trimesters!!

This year, it was absolutely WONDERFUL to be able to just be. Be with my kids, be a mom, be content, be thankful, be blessed. After many, many years of ups and downs, waiting, praying, wondering, and hoping, we finally have the family I always dreamed of having. And my nose is being slobbered on once more, which is always a dream come true.:)

Everett and meOur lovely little family went to the conservatory, like usual, and it was warm, tropical, and beautiful – perfect on a cloudy day in early spring!

familyA&K

KEwalking

Bittersweet Mother’s Day

If everything had gone the way we thought it would, we would have celebrated a birthday here last week.

We would have had another little munchkin running around here, turning five years old.

I don’t think about that very often. Except around Mother’s Day. When that old due date rolls around, there are some dreams I once dreamed that are buried way down deep, but keep coming up to the surface each May.

And you know what? I’m glad they do. It makes Mother’s Day a little bittersweet, but I’ve gotten used to it. And this year, I realized I’ve even become thankful for it.

Although I don’t think about that baby much anymore, those bittersweet thoughts remind me of how much I really do have. If we had never gone through any miscarriages, I’m sure I would still love our girls like crazy, I’d still be so thankful for them.

But I think that as a mom, having loved and lost, even when it was only for a few weeks, puts things into perspective.

I like perspective.

I like it that all this happiness is here, even after a good amount of pain. I like how things worked out in the end. I really always wanted three or four kids, but I like finding out how nice two can be.

I like thinking there are babies in heaven waiting for me. I don’t think about that a lot either – I feel a bit of a jolt anytime I have to fill out a medical form that asks how many pregnancies I’ve had, and I realize I need to write down a number “four”.

I am the mother of four children. That sounds kind of plentiful, doesn’t it? An odd feeling for a mom who never felt like she had enough, for so many years.

Those years seemed to go on forever, and now suddenly, they are done. Suddenly I am happy, and suddenly that time seems so much shorter than it did while it was happening.

I wish so much that I could dump hope on all the people who are waiting for something.

I wish I could pass on the peace that’s found in just knowing that God knows, and in the end, even the pain is worth it and part of you, and you wouldn’t go back and change it. I wish I could gift someone with the perspective that comes in the end.

Oh, I wasn’t going to do this, but I really do need to quote Donald Miller one more time, even though there’s been a lot of him around here in the last few weeks:

…We were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. (p.70, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)

I’ve lived through something, and it has changed me. Some days I still feel like I mess up an awful lot as a mom, but I do think I’m a better mom because of all we’ve gone through.

For me, Mother’s Day is not just a celebration of this relationship, but it’s also a celebration of what it took to get here. We made it through, and it has been very, very good. These girls of mine are precious, special gifts, and having loved and lost along the way has taught me a little bit about the value of life.

The bitter has made me realize how sweet this life of mine really is!

Weekend Pictures

These pictures from our weekend are kind of a random collection.

We went to a wedding in a very beautiful old church:

And then we stayed home to nurse a sick girl back to health…

We heartily ate pea soup (and then Kaylia wore the pea soup on clothes, hands, and face, and exclaimed enthusiastically, “I wove pea soup!!”):

We celebrated Mother’s Day by relaxing, having a picnic for supper, and coloring with chalk:

And then after a very nice day, Ben surprised me by saying that he’s taking Monday off, too! I love unexpected long weekends around here!